The Bills And Lions Are In Position To End Long Playoff Droughts

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

Photo: Mark Cromwell, Flickr Creative Commons

Through three weeks in the NFL, there are only four unbeaten teams remaining. And two of those teams, the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions find themselves in unfamiliar territory.The Bills are 3-0 for only the second time in the last 19 seasons, with the other coming in 2008. That season, the Bills started 4-0, but lost nine of their final 12 games. On the other hand, the Lions are 3-0 for the first time since 1980, a span of 31 years.

More importantly, both teams are in a good position to make the playoffs for the first time in the 21st century. Both the Bills and Lions last made the playoffs in 1999. Since the NFL expanded to 12 playoff teams in 1990, 75.9 per cent of teams that start the year 3-0, go on to make the playoffs.

And if the Lions and Bills are fortunate enough to make it to the playoffs, they will have an opportunity to end an even longer drought. The Bills haven’t won a playoff game since the Jim Kelly/Thurman Thomas era (1995). And the Lions playoff futility goes all the way back to 1991, when they were led by Erik Kramer and Barry Sanders.

But first things first. There is still a lot of football to play. But right now, the Bills and the Lions are looking like the new breed in the NFL.

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